By Perminus Wainaina
One of the reasons why the corona pandemic has hit many businesses hard is because of the unknown. From schools, churches, politics, etc the pandemic has turned many businesses upside down for lack of a better word. And many businesses were either caught flat footed or didn’t know how to respond fast.
I have been observing the situation and the lesson I have learnt is that businesses that are still ‘surviving’ are the ones that had put in place some systems.
So why exactly are systems and processes important in your business? Do they add real value to your department & organization?
In today’s highly competitive environment, you might be asking yourself whether introducing systems and processes is a worthy investment. As a leader or an entrepreneur, you want to spend resources on that which adds the most value.
Business systems are those connected processes and activities that make your operations predictable. For example, if you have working systems in your HR department, staff will know exactly which behaviors will be rewarded, and which ones will call for a reprimand. Research has shown that the right systems and processes can help your business to achieve sustainable growth.
Signs you lack or Have Weak Systems
Without proper systems, you will keep encountering problems as you do business. You might find yourself keeping on repeating instructions to staff, or having overlapping tasks that slow down service delivery. You might also have to deal with endless conflicts among staff due to poor communication and lack of proper task allocation. All this leads to high staff turnover and low morale, thus affecting your overall performance.
How systems and processes benefit your business
1. Improving Top-Line Performance:
As a business leader, growth in performance is very important to you. The reason you wake up in the morning and report to the office is to ensure sustainable performance growth in your business. The right systems help you streamline your operations thus leaving you time to focus more on strategy and business development functions. As we emerge from the Covid 19 pandemic, you might be planning to focus on aggressive growth to counter the effects of the downtime we have experienced. Effective systems will give you a way of clearly understanding your revenue drivers and focusing your attention on the areas that truly matter.
2. Meeting Customer’s Expectations:
It has been said that it is five times harder to win a new customer than it is to service your existing customer base. Therefore, it is essential that your team builds long-lasting relationships with your customers so they do remain loyal. An effective business system will help you better understand your clients, and what would make them keep coming back. You will understand which areas need to be improved, and which client needs are yet to be met. This gives you an opportunity to be proactive in customer service thus exceeding their expectations. Do you have a solid marketing &customer service plan in place?
3. Consistent Results:
Consistency in your business is far more important that you can imagine. Your clients want to be sure that you can provide a quality service every time they come to you. This is why brands will engage in a huge marketing campaign when they change the packaging of their products, assuring customers that apart from the packaging, nothing else has changed. When Barclays Kenya rebranded to Absa, they went to huge lengths to convince their clientele that the same level of service would be retained. With consistency, your business is more likely to succeed. Clients will feel safe coming back to you and also referring others.
4. Retaining Staff:
With human nature being what it is, employees will sometimes test limits and act “creatively” in workplace situations. As such you need a strategy for developing, communicating and enforcing a set of policies and practices that comply with legislation and reflect your standards of acceptable behavior.
Having an effective human resource system will ensure your staff complete their work more efficiently and effectively. Your staff are endowed with great potential, and you need a system that can help you to tap this potential to improve performance. When staff feel their effort is making a difference in the organization, they are more likely to stay and remain motivated. Additionally, having the system in place allows you to quickly integrate new-hires, and makes it easy for them to see their role within the organization and bring forth new ideas.
5. Reduce Cost and Increase Profits:
The Covid 19 pandemic has hit businesses hard all over the world. There has been a huge reduction in revenue levels across all sectors. If your business is in such a situation, cost reduction may be your only tool to improve performance. It has been proven time and again that the implementation of a sound business system helps reduce operating costs. You can then transfer this benefit to your clients through reduced prices or improved service, and this will give you a competitive edge. A business system will help you reduce costs without negatively affectively the quality of your goods or service.
As business leaders, sometimes we overlook the importance of implementing systems and processes in our organizations because we may not fully appreciate the return on investment on these systems and processes. However, as noted above, having effective and working systems such as human resource policies will have a huge positive effect on the productivity and efficiency of your business. It is time to decide which systems will add value to your organization and go ahead to incorporate them in your operations.
Perminus Wainaina is the Managing Partner at Corporate Staffing Services. A leading HR consultancy firm that offers recruitment, training & HR consultancy services.N.B: Would you like us to consider you for a job opening? Boost your job search. Upload Your CV Here. It's FREE